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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Posts Strong First Quarter Financial Results

Coca-Cola’s first quarter earnings per share were 48 cents, an increase over last year’s first quarter EPS of 47 cents, and higher than the Wall Street estimate of 46 cents. First quarter net revenue rose five percent to $8.02 billion, higher than the company’s revenue of $7.63 billion a year ago. Net income for the quarter was $1.7 billion, a 21 percent increase. Operating income was $2.34 billion in the quarter, up from $1.81 billion in the same period last year. Coke reaffirmed its guidance for the year, expecting approximately four percent growth in organic revenue and 10-11 percent growth in comparable, currency-neutral operating income. Revenue for the Europe, Middle East & Africa business unit grew five percent, which helped offset revenue decline in other regions, especially Latin America. The Global Ventures unit posted more than 200 percent revenue growth, while operating income grew as a result of the Costa acquisition.

Coke Launches Sugar-Free Mineral Water In Japan

In a move designed to broaden its lineup of better-for-you beverages, Coca-Cola Japan on April 15 launched a sugar-free flavored water under the brand “I LOHAS.” The drink contains only mineral water, lemon juice, and lemon flavor extract. A 555 ml (19 ounce) bottle retails for $1. I LOHAS is an acronym for lifestyles of health and sustainability. Launched in 2009, I LOHAS brought in $1 billion in retail sales in 2014 and 2016,. Coca-Cola Japan and Suntory are two of the largest flavored mineral water manufacturers in Japan.


Despite Some Blips, Danone Says It’s On Track For Solid Growth In 2019

Despite a couple of disturbing first-quarter setbacks, yogurt giant Danone is sticking to forecasts that call for accelerated sales in the second quarter and three percent like-for-like sales growth for the year. The company faced a consumer boycott in Morocco early in 2018 over its strategy of raising prices to counter falling sales; sales of infant formula in China drooped compared with last year. First-quarter sales rose a modest 0.8 percent to $6.9 billion, compared to 2.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018. Nevertheless, the company says it is still on track to achieve three percent like-for-like sales growth for the full year. The major operating divisions – Essential Dairy & Plant-based (EDP), Specialized Nutrition, and Waters – recorded like-for-like sales growth in the quarter. The Waters division grew 3.9 percent, thanks in part to the increased distribution of Evian waters in the U.S.

Keurig Dr Pepper

After High Levels Of Arsenic Discovered, Keurig Dr Pepper Suspends Peñafiel Bottling In Mexico

Keurig Dr Pepper suspended bottled water production for two weeks at a Mexico facility that makes Peñafiel for export to the U.S. after Consumer Reports identified the brand as one of 11 that contained detectable amounts of arsenic, and one of six that had levels of three ppb or higher. Other brands included Starkey (Whole Foods Market), Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, Volvic (owned by Danone), and two regional brands, Crystal Creamery and EartH₂O. Keurig Dr Pepper said it plans to improve filtration at the plant to lower arsenic levels. For its latest internal testing, the company said it used a different protocol and consulted the FDA. A recall isn’t planned, according to the company, though Consumer Reports advised one. Starkey Water recalled more than 2,000 cases of water after tests by regulators showed an impermissible level of arsenic beyond the federally mandated threshold of 10 parts per billion.


Monster Is Losing Energy Drink Market Share As Competitors Multiply

Energy beverage industry leader Monster Beverage Corp. is losing market share as competitors multiply. Monster’s products accounted for 41 percent of energy drink sales in American retail stores in the four weeks ended April 7, down from 45 percent a year earlier, according to research firm IRI. New entrant Bang, for example, has quickly captured about nine percent of the market. Keurig Dr Pepper has launched Adrenaline Shoc, an energy drink developed by Lance Collins, the entrepreneur behind successful brands including Fuze tea and BodyArmor sports drink. Other players entering the market include Anheuser-Busch InBev SA with its organic energy-drink Hiball and Amazon’s Solimo brand. Monster is trying to keep Coca-Cola, which owns an 18.5 percent stake in Monster, from introducing a drink called Coca-Cola Energy. Monster says the move is a violation of an agreement the companies struck in 2015; they are in arbitration.

Other Companies

Caffè Nero To Serve Combo Drinks Made With Espresso And Fever-Tree Tonic Water

Tapping into the low- and no-alcohol trend, British coffee chain Caffè Nero will be selling drinks that combine two of Fever-Tree’s tonic water offerings with espresso. Available at about $5.00, the two drinks are Original Espresso & Tonic with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water, and Ultimate Espresso & Tonic with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water and Ginger Syrup. The drinks will be hand-made in the cafés using a double shot of espresso poured over the tonic water.

ITC Launches Three B Natural Juice Drinks Into Indian Market

Furthering its packed juices and fruit beverages strategy, Indian conglomerate ITC Ltd has launched three new variants of B Natural juice: Himalayan Mixed Fruit, Ratnagiri Alphonso, and Dakshin Pink Guava. The juices will be sold in two sizes: 300 ml ($0.64) and 750 ml ($1.42). According to the company’s annual report, B Natural is a $14 million brand that is growing 25 percent annually, and has a seven percent market share in India’s $358 million juices and fruit beverages market. The market is dominated by PepsiCo India's Tropicana and Dabur India's Real brands.

Tata Global Beverages To Buy Dhunseri Tea & Industries

Tata Global Beverages Limited (TGBL) has agreed to buy the branded tea business, including brands brands Lal Ghoda and Kala Ghoda, of Dhunseri Tea & Industries Limited for approximately for $14.4 million. The proposed acquisition is subject to due-diligence, stakeholder, and regulatory approvals. In related company news, Tata’s full fiscal year revenue from operations increased by six percent to $1.04 billion, though net profit for the year dipped by 17.8 percent, mainly because of higher exceptional items, higher share of losses from JVs and associates, and larger one-time tax credits than last year.

International Expansion Strategy Send Harrogate Spring Water To U.S.

British bottled water firm Harrogate Spring Water has entered the U.S. market for the first time with orders from Central Market of Texas, and a distribution deal with The Chef's Warehouse, a specialty food distributor with 15 stores across the U.S. and Canada. The deals occurred after international trade advisers (ITAs) from the U.K. Department for International Trade (DIT) introduced the company to U.S. buyers last September. The company is also expanding its exports to the Middle East after attending Gulfood, a large annual food and drink trade show in Dubai last year. Harrogate Spring Water is available in Vietnam, Russia, Spain, Poland, and Barbados, and the company is working with ITAs to research new markets, including Japan, hoping to grow its exports by 20 percent over the next five years.
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